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Feb 17, 2021 Read in Browser

Karuna News

In the ebb and flow of modern life, it's all too common to feel fragmentation everywhere. As we walk down the street outside our home, it's rare to know exactly who poured the concrete below our feet. Ask an urban toddler where food comes from, and you might get the answer: "the store," or, now in pandemic times: "online". We might have taken umpteen train rides in our lives, but why can't we name the umpteen conductors whose efforts steered it to our destination? Whose engineering, and which factory workers, produced the screen on which we read these words? Beyond the unique specialization of our societal roles and worldviews, this past year of pandemic has viscerally shown us how deeply our lives are woven into each other's. This week's feature stories highlight the palpable possibilities that blossom in the midst of simple human solidarity.

BUSINESS

In Hawaii, Business Owner Hires Man Who Stole From Him

In Hawaii, Business Owner Hires Man Who Stole From Him

Yancy Min | Unsplash

In Honolulu, Hawaii last month, surveillance video captured a man stealing from a construction site in Waipahu, twice. He took away an estimated $10,000 worth of tools. John Paul Cates, the owner of the construction company, was livid: "We work hard for our stuff. It's a family business. I was like, we're going to find this guy," he said. Three days after the break-in, Travis Sueyoshi arrived back at the scene of the crime in broad daylight. "I felt wrong for what I did," he describes, and apologized. "He said I'll work it off. I'll do whatever," Cates recalled. "Somewhere in that conversation, the moment changed. I was looking at him and I was like, 'No, I don't want you to work it off. I'm going to hire you.'" That was two weeks ago. Since then, Sueyoshi, who is homeless without a car, has managed to show up every morning at 7AM for work. Read Full Story.

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COMMUNITY

Town Gives Pizza Deliveryman A New Car For 31 Years Of Kindness

Town Gives Pizza Deliveryman A New Car For 31 Years Of Kindness

Nestled in a small corner of Indiana, U.S., Robert Peters has been delivering pizzas for Pizza Hut for 31 years and counting. While he knows it's not the most glamorous of jobs, Peters has tapped into a deeper joy in the work. "There were people in my family that were like, "maybe you should consider something a little more financially stable?" he told CBS Evening News, "But it’s my purpose in life—trying to make people happy. You know, when you’re delivering to somebody, you may be the only face they see all day.” Over three decades, the town of Tipton, where he delivers the pizzas, has come to look forward to his deliveries. They even nicknamed him "Mr. Smiley". So it shouldn't come as a surprise that when Peters began having issues with his 28-year-old car, one grateful longtime customer immediately took to social media with an idea to raise funds to surprise Peters with a new car. In just three days, local community and strangers contributed over $19,000 to the effort - enough to surprise Peters with a Red Chevy Malibu, covering fees, taxes, insurance, and then some. Describing the surprise as "almost surreal," Peters' gratitude simply mirrors the community's gratitude to him: "I just hope that all those who made this happen will be blessed as much as they have blessed me." Read Full Story.

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PLANET

Indonesia: Orangutan Offers Helping Hand To Park Warden In River

Indonesia: Orangutan Offers Helping Hand To Park Warden In River

Anil Prabhakar | SWNS

A moving encounter between an orangutan and man in Indonesia's island of Borneo has "melted hearts all over the world," CNN reports. While on safari in a conservation forest run by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS), amateur photographer Anil Prabhakar witnessed a touching moment when an orangutan came up close to the park warden, and extended a helping hand. The guard was clearing snakes from the water; and it was difficult for him to move in the muddy water. The orangutan seemed to notice and Prabhakar described that the scene was as if the great ape was saying "May I help you?" The photo from January 22, 2020 went viral on Instagram, with over 89,000 likes. The orangutan is mostly found in Indonesia's Borneo and Sumatra, and it's estimated that the Bornean orangutan population has decreased by more than 80% in the past three generations. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

In Hong Kong, Strangers Ease The Pain Of The Pandemic With Kindness

In Hong Kong, Strangers Ease The Pain Of The Pandemic With Kindness

Rachel Weight

Members of a Hong Kong Facebook group help people they’ve never met cope with quarantine and virus testing. The group, called HK quarantine support group, began last March. At the outset, they assumed the need would exist for a few months at most. Nearly a year later, it’s still going strong. The group has almost 30,000 members, and its organizers envision it as a refuge of positivity and compassion. It was a godsend for an Irish family who discovered that their 8-year-old daughter had Covid-19 only after testing upon arrival at the Hong Kong airport; the child was separated from her family on her birthday and taken to a hospital. Thanks to the Facebook group, the little girl was brought a birthday gift and care packages and meals daily. The girl’s mother said, “The Hong Kong community wrapped their angel wings around my daughter and shielded her from the pain of being separated from her family. They turned an absolute nightmare for me into something that was bearable.” Read Full Story.

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YOUTH

Students Sell Paper Hearts To Help Fellow First-Grader In Need Of A Heart Transplant

Students Sell Paper Hearts To Help Fellow First-Grader In Need Of A Heart Transplant

Makinzie Corley via GMA

As 7-year-old Lamere Johnson readied to get a heart transplant, his classmates began selling paper hearts for $1 each, to go toward food, travel and any expenses needed for when Lamere receives his new heart. Teaching assistant Makinzie Corley cuts 200-400 paper hearts each day, and fifth-graders bring them around school every morning for anyone who'd like to buy a heart for Lamere. "We wanted to get our kids involved and, at the same time, give back to Lamere and his family, because they're so precious to us," Corley said. "As a community and as a school, we want to make sure that this family is prepared for when the doctor calls and says, 'Hey, we've got a heart for him.'" So far, the school community -- including middle and high school students -- have collected $2,000 for Lamere, who had three open heart surgeries in his first three years of life. A spunky, loving spirit, his mother, Contessa Culbreath, said, "Lamere has been excited since he found out he's going to get a new heart. Me, as his mom, I cry, I'm upset. He said, 'Mom, I'm going to get a new heart so I can play football.'" Read Full Story.

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